A fun day at the beach turned into a tragedy, for a family of 8, earlier this summer; in what can only be described as a freak accident. Shannon and Lee Dingle decided to beat the heat by heading to Oak Island, a beach town in North Carolina, with their 6 kids on July 18th, 2019. Lee was swimming in the water with 3 of his kids, when a wave struck him so hard that it caused him to smash his head onto the sand and break his neck. There were efforts to save his life, but they were to no avail.
Recently, wife Shannon has been under scrutiny from social media followers who think that she's overdoing it with her grief, and needs to lighten up. She recently got an email from a woman named Rosanne who suggested that she'd smile more. Rosanne wrote, “Your new photo is depressing to look at. I know you can do better than that. It was Lee who died not you.”
Shannon decided not to entertain Rosanne's email with a response, but instead shared the message on her Facebook page along with a message of her own. "Occasionally I get messages that I flip off. (No, seriously. Middle finger in front of the screen at the message.) I’m not sharing this next one because she deserves a scintilla of my emotional or mental energy. Usually, the physical energy to flip off the screen and block the sender is all they get," said Dingle. She goes on to say that the reason she's sharing Rosanne's message is, not for others to side with her, but to inform those who are unaware of the criticism grievers are faced with during a time where support is needed.
In an interview with TODAY Parents, she expanded on what it was about Rosanne's message that really irked her. “What she was saying was, ‘Hey, I’m uncomfortable with your grief. Can you change to make me more comfortable?" She also said, “I actually have friends who have kind of encouraged smiling or looking on the bright side,” Dingle stated. “It comes from a place of genuine concern, but at the same time, it’s also about them feeling better. It makes them feel better if I smile so then they don’t have to be worried about me."
Shannon has perfectly explained what people actually mean by their comments. It's amazing how a woman who needs support during this time, is being very understand towards others instead of lashing out. This is a reminder to us that grief is a dark part of life which many don't have a clue on how to handle. A lot of times when comments like these are made, they really are in an effort to help, but for the most part they don't. It's wise to choose our words. Everyone expresses grief differently, and we all take a different amount of time to cope. There's nothing wrong with wanting a grieving friend to feel better, but before expressing our thoughts and opinions, it's important that we take a deep look at our intentions, and recognize whether it's for their benefit or our own.